Little Eats

If you live in Melbourne or are planning a visit, a fabulous (and totally cute) website to check out is Little Eats. Little Eats is the brainchild of Jemma Reynolds — a self confessed foodie, critique and ‘super-mum’ to 2 pre-schoolers. Let’s face it — dining out with kids in tow can be fraught… fraught with fear, trepidation, anxiety and a host of other raging emotions. I have certainly had my fair share of cringe-worthy cafe moments. But it needn’t be so! Jemma profiles restaurants and cafes in and around Melbourne and rates them in relation to their ‘kid-friendliness’. Pram access? High chairs? Distraction apparatus like books or paper and crayons? Welcoming smiles? With her expert eye (and with the help of her 2 adorable pint-sized side-kicks) Jemma susses out the facilities, children’s menu, table and customer service. Of course she is also obligated to road-test the menu (all in the name of ‘field research’  she assures me.) Afterall we all know that pram access, high chairs, drawing supplies, babyccinos, choc-topped gingerbread men, great food and the perfect latte are important… in equal measure.

– Sara

Super cute name labels from Mooo

Summer holidays are coming to an end (phew — I need a break from all the cleaning and washing a ‘stayvacation’ entails). Aussie children are back to school, the start of a brand new school year. And that means labels. Lot’s of them. Especially for my son who starts his very first year of school (so exciting) and who would be prone to losing his beautiful head, were it not so well attached to his body. These adorable name labels are from Mooo. They also do the coolest personalised books which I have always intended to get for my children but which I have never got around to organizing. Also personalised bags, pencil cases, wooden puzzels, stationery, canvas art and an array of other personalised goodies, all of which make fabulous birthday present options.

– Sara

Caftan cool

Caftan-lover like myself? Well… look no further than Australian bohemian-inspired webshop Rock My Horse because their caftans are AMAZINGLY gorgeous! At this time of the year (it’s Summer here folks) my kids are in and out of pools and sprinkler systems every 2 minutes and running around in next to nothing. Caftans are the coolest, most versatile piece of summer clothing to throw on in between swimming sessions, for any activity. And trust me, these are the coolest I have ever seen… especially if you are partial to paisley prints (which I adore). They are all hand embroidered, made of the finest, softest cotton and their lovely range extends to include boys, girls, babies and even us ladies. So do have a look… even if it is snowing outside and you are shivering to the bone because before you know it the sun will be shining and you will be bikini-clad and heading off to the beach!!

ps. Rock My Horse is now having a Christmas sale with 25% off. They will ship world-wide. Don’t you just love the internet?

– Sara

donna hay kid’s magazine

I think the time has come to introduce my party bible! It is none other than the superb Donna Hay Kid’s magazine! What a treat! Eye-candy from the first to the last page; the photography is so stunning. Choc-full of children’s party themes, recipes and ideas,  it all appears so effortlessly stylish. I particularly love Donna’s tips on how to make cakes look half way reasonable with her ‘cheats guide’ to birthday cakes. (Truth be told, my super sombrero cake for our mexican fiesta still flopped even after following it to the letter, but for general folk, this shouldn’t happen!)

The brilliance of domestic goddess Donna Hay is widely recognized in Australia. Her cookbooks and magazines are legendary here and would, I am guessing, grace the book shelves of a great many Aussie homes. I can never wait for the next edition of the party issue to roll by (it’s a whole 12 months between editions but hey…I am very patient). Incidentally, Donna recently launched her new website. There are some irresistible party and entertaining ideas in her online store, as well as all current and past issues of her cookbooks and magazines. So, if you love to throw a party… or even dread it, I urge you to have a look!

– Sara

Tiny People, Byron Bay

If only my daughter still let me dress her!  Isn’t this little jumpsuit totally gorgeous? It is by sweet Aussie brand fabric from a shop called TinyPeople .  Tiny People is in the eclectic town of Byron Bay on the far north coast of NSW.  Byron Bay is quite a hippie little town. Think ‘bohemian cool’ … locals wearing tie-dye sarongs, frangipani sandals and wooden beads, organic produce markets every Thursday, and tempeh, veggie and chickpea burgers — a Byron Bay fast food staple. Unfortunately, I don’t get to visit Byron as often as I’d like to (it is a good 2 hour plane trip from Melbourne), but when I am there I always pop into this very cool little store. Not only do they carry some of my favourite local brands like Little Horn, Munster, Coco & Ginger, Paper Wings, Gaia, Polka and mamapapa… they also carry a small but well edited selection of imports — Wovenplay, Pop Up Shop and Mini Rodini just to name a few — lovely hand-made one-off objects and a beautiful selection of books and toys. Definitely worth a visit if you are anywhere in the vicinity!  And if not, Tiny People have a great website with worldwide shipping available. (more…)

Tamar Mogendorff

This moose head (it is a moose, isn’t it?) I am desperate to acquire. Well…desperately hoping to acquire that is as I haven’t yet investigated matters of cost. I think it will look gorgeous on the blank wall above my son’s bed (provided it doesn’t inspire nightmares, mind you). New York-based, Israeli-born Tamar Mogendorff is the mega-talented artist behind this and an array of other stuffed beauties like penguins, owls, peacocks, ducks and sweet birdcages. Tamar oozes talent, skill and style and I am in awe ; her use of bits of old linen, tinsel, antique embroidery, mohair, tweed (even the occasional newspaper) coupled with rough stitching and raw edges give her creations so much texture and personality.  I love how none of her creations are what you would call ‘perfect’.  But they are, on the other hand, perfecly ‘raw’. All equally magical too. Oh, it’s hard to pick a favourite!

In Australia, a great selection of  Tamar’s work is available through KinderGallery. For elsewhere in the world, check stockists through her beautiful website and while you’re at it, just drool and dream away…


darling, It’s a Masterpiece!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this brilliant placemat drawing kit from Aussie online store gadgetking. How totally cool is the wooden frame on the blank canvas? Great for kid’s parties, to keep kids entertained at restaurants or just to keep them occupied whilst you‘re preparing dinner.  It is called ‘meal time masterpiece’  but I personally would be reticent to use them as placemats in case food splattered on any potential prized collectible. You see, I am hoping to adorn the wall with them, gallery style, for all to see. There are 48 sheets in each pad, plus six markers.  Hmm, I think I just might have a go myself…

– Sara

Favourite Toys : Just what the Doctor Ordered!

This classic doctor’s bag  has been, I am guessing, our most enduring, regularly used toy. Of course it helps that it is made of wood and not plastic and has withstood the test of time, over-zealous budding anesthetists included (that would be my son I am referring to!) My daughter was gifted her kit when she turned 3 and the role-playing is showing no signs of decline — it is just a little more sophisticated these days! She is now 9.  Over time we have added other items like cotton wool and bandaids, a pad and pencil for prescriptions and a real but broken mobile phone/pager… (more…)

I heart moccasins

I absolutely LOVE moccasins.  I always have. I especially love mocs that are made of soft, buttery leather like these handmade beauties by the uber talented Susan Peterson of Freshly Picked. Aren’t they just irresistible? And so, so cool! My kids have worn moccasins since they were babies and I am starting to notice them everywhere these days.  To me they are an easy, low-fuss, unisex wardrobe staple because they go with absolutely everything — trousers, shorts and leggings and they are especially adorable teamed with pretty dresses. Not to mention, incredibly comfortable! Oh, one last thing — nice on adults too (just not nearly as cute).

– Sara

once upon a fold…

If you are a ‘paperphile’ (aka ‘paper – lover’) or even just a paper craft enthusiast you must check out Aussie online boutique upon a fold for its brilliantly curated collection of papery goodness!  This gorgeous little shop showcases paper artistry from all around the world, particularly from Japan where ‘paper’ is big business.  From beautiful jewellery and pretty stationery to fun paper planes and perfectly engineered pop-ups, they carry pretty much any papery bit that can be folded, scribbled, written, read, created, coloured and displayed! You cannot help but be inspired — even me, the ultimate non-crafty! On a side note, we did try to emulate these cool storage milk cartons to make some money boxes but alas, we failed miserably. (Let me know if you have better luck than we did!)

– Sara

Some MOR pampering please!

Ok, I  admit to a shameless obsession with beautiful packaging, even for the most mundane of items. There is an Australian brand, MOR cosmetics, which causes me to positively swoon… though there is nothing mundane about these decadent products. Inspired by traditional apothecary and the blending of age-old and contemporary ingredients, MOR’s lotions, aromatic oils and candles make up an exquisite range of pampering goodies, enjoying a cult following around the globe.  Not only do they look amazing gracing the bathroom counter (trust me, you will be loathe to use them) but they are deliciously scented (kale and watercress, marshmallow, pistachio, kumquat…) and feel so indulgent to use. I think that their Little Luxuries collection make the sweetest stocking fillers — the marshmallow lip nectar and belladonna soapette are my favorites (check out the gorgeous re-usable tins!). For some serious eye-candy, have a look at MOR’s recently revamped website here . Good news too — they ship world-wide!

– Sara

Witchery for Kids

Spring is in the air! I can feel it. Well kind of.  It’s my eyes and nose, as hayfever takes hold. The weather is still very cool — unseasonally so. And, after a particularly cold winter (by southern hemisphere standards) we are  all psyched for some summer sun and fun….With this in mind I have just checked out the recently launched summer children’s line at Witchery.  Witchery womenswear has always been one of my favourite places to shop for wardrobe staples. The new mini-me range, for boys and girls aged 2 to 9, covers all the basics and then some, all effortlessly cool (lots of  great stripey numbers and cargo) and at very reasonable prices. My pick for the boys would be the sleeveless hoody which should come in so handy over the summer (especially for  all those lazy breezy evenings on the beach)! For the girls I personally think the cargo skirt, belt, vest ensemble is tres chic…regretably though, my sweet daughter doesn’t share my enthusiasm, so I must resist ( now if  it comes in my size…that’s another matter.) If you are local, do check out the collection in store. For elsewhere in the world, most of the range is available online.


Retro-inspired Personalized Lunchboxes

These gorgeous personalised lunchboxes by Feterie are high on my birthday list for my children this year. With a bit of a retro-cool vibe, they are of lightweight tin construction and as functional as they are stylish. I think they’d be great for toting around paper and coloured pencils too, or whatever knick-knacks it is kids love to drag around (footy cards in my son’s case).  I can also imagine them being great for keeping all my daughter’s hair paraphernaila together — those elastics, clips and ribbons crop up all over the house, yet when we need to tie her hair each morning for school, there’s never one to be found! Feterie ship world-wide.

– Sara

Give good Karma — the best gift of all

Did you know that each year in Australia close to $1 billion is spent on unwanted gifts that end up in storage, in the bin and ultimately in landfill? Isn’t it crazy? Such awful wastage!  That’s exactly how  Melbournite Ashley Rosshandler felt before setting up the Karma Currency Foundation and launched Australia’s first Online Charity Gift Voucher. It works so simply.  You log onto their website to buy a tax deductible Charity Gift Voucher for say…Christmas… and email it off to the recipient. The recipient then logs onto the website and decides which charities the donation will go toward. They can choose to protect rainforests, educate minds, find cures, rescue animals, offset their carbon or support the soup kitchen down the road… whatever charity is closest to their hearts. Such a genius concept!  I love it! I can’t imagine a more meaningful, empowering and memorable gift than spreading the karma!

– Sara

Melbourne’s top 10 in Caos Magazine!

Recently, wonderful Spanish magazine Caos asked Babyccino if we could compile a list of the 10 top things to do when visiting the city of Melbourne. We were very excited to oblige! Here is the list written up which was of course then translated into Spanish (and which, most will agree, makes everything sound just so much more wonderful). (more…)

Igloo Zoo

No matter the weather, every Friday after school my children and I head down to Igloo Zoo for a fix of creamy frozen yogurt. YUM-OH! We patiently wait behind the hoards of teenage schoolkids who are equally excited. It is pure decadence and relatively sinless (I figure) given that it is made with real yogurt (live cultures) is 99.5% fat-free, high in antioxidants and low in sugar. There are 4 flavors on offer — original, green tea, cocoa and pomegranate. As an incentive (not that we need one) they offer an array of amazing accoutrements like organic kaffir, lime biscotti, white chocolate, pomegranate seeds, passion fruit puree, halva (a middle eastern treat made from sesame seed), choc-covered goji berries, lychee and a host of other treats. Admittedly, I usually eschew the more exotic toppings in favor of good old triple choc crunch, passion fruit puree and coconut…beyond divine!

If you are visiting Melbourne, the Gold Coast or Sydney check out locations here ! If you live elsewhere in the world and you are hankering for your own sampling of Igloo Zoo  — I apologize profusely for the tease!

– Sara

Weebits — Beautiful Knitwear for Babies

Gosh, I am a sucker for beautiful knitwear — for myself and my kids.  When I discovered Weebits at Magnolia Square recently I was mesmerized by the quality, texture, colors and design and just a tiny bit peeved that they didn’t come in sizes big enough for us! Pure merino wool from New Zealand is the world’s most exclusive natural fibre and it is as scarce as cashmere. Because of its natural elasticity, lustre, resilience, density, strength, warmth and softness, it is perfect for newborns. I totally love these hoodies (pictured) but the rest of the range (especially the ponchos and loop scarves) are equally drool-worthy. The colors are just superb and produced using eco-friendly dyes. Definitely worth checking out. The good news is they ship world-wide. For more details, click here.

– Sara

Native shoes in mini sizes

I am so excited… I just discovered that Little Fashion Gallery are stocking Native shoes in mini sizes!  I have long been bemoaning the fact that these cool shoes didn’t come in kids sizes and… they are!  The perfect summer holiday shoe in my opinion — so versatile, so robust with the utility of a Croc but really so much more style! And in such delicious colors too. Made from 100% EVA, an environmentally amphibious material that makes them ultra-comfortable and all-terrain; molding perfectly to the foot. I can’t wait to get my hands on a pair (for the kids and also for myself — I am eyeing the shell white here)!

– Sara


I love, love, love this! I keep berating myself for having not conjured it up in one of my brainstorming sessions (honestly I am still hopeful that one day I will invent the next ‘lego’). In the meantime, I just marvel at gems like these… it reminds me that the simplest of ideas are the best — a game powered by imagination rather than a USB cable! Think-ets is so simple in concept — a little pouch of random, very charming ‘trinkets’ from around the world. Along with the pouch comes rules for a few games, such as “I’ll take one away, and you tell me which one is missing”, or “Make a story about the item you’re holding” — educational in so many ways, inspiring story-telling, testing memory and just fun for kids to fiddle with. (more…)

Little Nutty Helmets — for the coolest bikey in town

Nutcase is the maker of awesome helmets and their Little Nutty line caters the under five set. In Oz it is legal requirement to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle and given that so many are so cringe worthy (seriously lacking in the style stakes) these make me so very excited to hop on my bike once again.  There is a cool design to suit every member of the family — in fact there are so many cool designs I seriously defy anyone, young or old, not to find one that suits their personality or acceptable to their sense of aesthetic. The Little Nutty range is particularly adorable and ‘dial-to-fit’ sizing makes getting the correct fit for this helmet simple – just turn the dial on the back of the helmet to make it fit your child’s head exactly, growing as the head grows. So cool. Enough said!

For stockists of Nutcase and Little Nutty in the USA and Canada, click here; for Europe click here and for Australia, click here. For everywhere else in the world, see here.

– Sara

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